Dogs bite millions of people across the U.S. each year, and some 27,000 of these dog bite injuries are serious enough to require reconstructive surgery.
Wounds can get infected, and victims may be forced to endure painful rabies shots. Young children are particularly susceptible, and adults may lose weeks from work or suffer permanent disabilities.
If a dog has bitten you or your relative, it’s important to talk to a dog bite lawyer in Lawrenceville right away. At John Foy & Associates, our team of dog bite lawyers has been helping victims recover money for their injuries for over 20 years.
What do I Do If a Dog Bites Me?
Always get medical attention as soon as you can after the attack. This might mean you need to call an ambulance, or it might mean seeing a doctor or going to the emergency room on your own. If you don’t need immediate medical attention, see what you can find out about the dog. Things to ask include:
- Who is the dog’s owner, and where does the owner live?
- Has the dog had its shots? Which ones, and when?
- Has the dog bitten people before?
In our experience, dog owners often don’t want to answer these kinds of questions. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a good claim. Our team of investigators can track down the information we need about the dog that bit you.
Our investigators visit the scene, talk to people who live nearby, and research public records to find out who owns the dog, what the neighbors know, and whether the dog has a history of biting people.
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Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Georgia?
Because most dog bite cases fall under personal injury law, your claim will depend on the other party’s negligence. Most of the time, this will hinge on whether the other party knew that the dog was vicious. That means the owner was aware that the dog has a history of aggressive behavior and did not act to restrain it.
To have a strong case, you cannot have provoked the dog at all. If you did anything to rile the dog up or gave it cause to attack, there’s a chance your personal injury claim could be denied.
If someone’s dog bit you because of their own negligence, you have cause to sue them. Irresponsible owners should be held accountable for their pet’s actions. A dog bite lawyer in Lawrenceville will be able to help you get compensation for your damages.
What Can a Lawrenceville Dog Bite Attorney Do for Me?
The first thing that your dog bite lawyer will do for you is listen to your story. At your initial consultation, they will assess your case and tell you what steps should be taken to get you the settlement you deserve.
After they assess your case, your attorney will get to work on proving that you were the victim of a negligent dog owner. To do this, they will:
- Collect evidence
- Calculate your damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Fight for you in court if necessary
In any personal injury case, it’s extremely important to prove that the other party was negligent. That’s why your dog bite lawyer will collect any evidence they can that shows what happened. Evidence in a dog bite case can include:
- Surveillance video
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Any records of the dog’s past aggression
- Medical documents and bills
By showing that the dog’s owner was responsible for the bite and that their negligence caused your damages, our team of dog bite attorneys in Lawrenceville will be able to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Can I Report a Dog Bite in Lawrenceville?
If a dog bites you in the City of Lawrenceville, you should report it to two different local agencies:
- The Lawrenceville Police Department: An officer will come to the scene, talk to you and make an incident report. The incident report is essential for you to make a strong claim.
- Gwinnett County Animal Services: Whenever an animal attacks someone, Animal Control creates a report. Animal Control’s records can help locate or identify the dog that bit you. Their records can also show whether the dog has attacked people before.
Reporting the dog bite is one of the most important steps in the process of filing your claim. If there is no report, there is no record of the incident, and you won’t be able to create your claim at all.
What Happens to the Dog If I Report a Bite in Georgia?
If the dog has never bitten anyone before, it usually won’t be punished for biting you. Under Georgia law, most dogs get “one free bite.” However, there are exceptions to this rule if the dog is a repeat offender or is a breed that’s known to be highly aggressive. Popular aggressive breeds include:
- Pit bulls
- Dogs that are part wolf
- All breeds created especially for fighting
If you’re worried about the consequences of reporting a dog bite, rest assured that the system is meant to keep owners accountable. It’s important to report a dog bite even if you don’t want something bad to happen to the pet. At the very least, it makes the authorities aware that the dog now has a history of aggressive behavior.
Is the Owner Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?
Under Georgia law, the owner is always liable. Dog owners have a legal responsibility to train their animals and keep them under control at all times. This may mean different things under different circumstances.
Dogs may need to be kept on a leash, in a crate, or under close supervision while off leash. When owners don’t properly control a dog and the dog bites someone, the owner must pay for the consequences. Don’t let a dog owner make excuses or blame you for provoking the dog—they are still liable.
What Money Am I Entitled to in a Lawrenceville Dog Bite Claim?
Georgia’s laws allow you to recover 100% of your damages and costs. The kinds of damages the Gwinnett County courts might award you include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of long-term rehabilitation or physical therapy
- The cost of treating your psychological injuries
- The wages you lost from missing work because of the attack
Courts also often award substantial sums for pain and suffering or for serious, long-term disabilities, and other losses. Our dog bite lawyers in Lawrenceville know that money can never truly compensate you for the trauma of a dog attack, but it can help you maintain your footing financially as you move through the healing process.
What If My Friend’s Dog Bit Me?
A bite from a friend or family member’s dog is especially difficult because you naturally worry about damaging your relationship or upsetting someone you care about. However, it is important to report the bite to the authorities so that you can begin the process of getting financial compensation for your injuries.
Your friend or family member won’t have to pay for your care. You will be compensated by their insurance company—usually their homeowner’s policy—which is designed specifically for situations like this.
If you’re not sure whether you want to file your claim, you can always get a consultation with a lawyer who can tell you what will happen in your case. Don’t hesitate to talk to a Lawrenceville dog bite lawyer from John Foy & Associates. We can handle your case with understanding and compassion.
What If a Dog Bit Me While I Was Working on the Owner’s Property?
As a hired worker, you have the same right to recover all your costs and damages. Georgia law requires homeowners to provide a safe environment for people working on their property. That means that dogs must be controlled.
If a property owner’s dog bit you, you can file a dog bite claim, or you may be able to follow an easier process and file a workers compensation claim. Our team can tell you what your options are for getting the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
How Much does a Lawrenceville Dog Bite Lawyer Cost?
Your lawyer’s fees will depend on a number of factors surrounding your incident. The case’s difficulty, how long it takes to resolve, and any other fees included in the process could all affect how much your lawyer will charge. Thankfully, with our firm, there’s no risk in hiring an attorney.
A lawyer shouldn’t cost anything up-front. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you win your case. That way, you don’t have to worry about paying for a failed lawsuit.
Our Lawrenceville dog bite lawyers have a fee system set up so that you don’t pay us anything unless we win you money. We think this is a fair way to give our clients quality legal help when they need it most.
Speak to a Lawrenceville Dog Bite Attorney for Free
John Foy & Associates is one of the few law firms in Georgia with experience winning dog bite cases. With 20 years of experience, we have a solid track record of success. From our beginnings as a local law firm, we have always concentrated on helping victims of attacks and other injuries, never siding with insurance companies.
We have now grown into one of Georgia’s largest and most well-regarded law firms, but we still focus on helping victims. Our Lawrenceville dog bite lawyers will meet with you for free to discuss your case.
Talk to us for free and we’ll explain your rights and your legal options. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.